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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Isn't it About Time?

Senior Living Magazine – March 2011

Isn't it About Time?
By Joan W. Winter
Posted: Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Twenty years ago, while driving a B.C. transit bus, Marilyn Joyce (M.J.) Milne had a strange encounter of the mystical kind. As she pulled into a stop and opened the door, a maroon-robed man with a black goatee beard was standing at the stop. He didn’t board the bus, but stood there silently staring up at her. Impatient, she closed the door and drove away. But the second day, and then a third, he was there again, and the same thing happened. Although he didn’t speak, he seemed to be telepathically communicating a message to her. “Isn’t it about time?”

To M.J., the incident didn’t seem odd. She had always been a spiritual seeker. Perhaps it was time, she thought, as the stranger disappeared in the rear-view mirror, time to look inside herself for the answers she sought; time to change her life and listen to the inner messages of soul. The appearance of the stranger, who she thought to be a spiritual master, was a turning point, the catalyst, which set her on a path of spiritual enlightenment and self-discovery.

Born in Vancouver in 1948, the eldest of three girls, M.J. moved with her family to North Vancouver. As a child, her abilities as an artist and writer, her love of travel and her interest in the world of spirit, emerged early. After graduating in 1967 from Delbrook High School, she studied art at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, attended Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. Planning a career as an artist, she painted, working hard at improving her skill.

While at university, following a series of profound occurrences, M.J. began investigating alternative ways of living, thinking and believing. She disagreed with the man-made theories of the many university philosophy books she had to read, and the traditional world religions she researched failed to provide satisfactory answers to her many questions. She sought spiritual paths in the “New Age” movement. She joined the feminist movement and became an activist; wrote screenplays, magazine articles, and hand-wrote a revolutionary New Age science-fiction novel, *Universal Tides: Barbed Wire Blues* - a tome some 500 pages long, which she stored in a trunk at her parent’s house, and promptly forgot about as life and living intervened.

Accepting a job up north, M.J. worked as an assistant to a geologist at an isolated goldmine north of Stewart, B.C. There, in her spare time, her connection with nature heightened, she painted imaginative landscapes in oils, which were sought after by art collectors. She exhibited in a gallery and all her paintings sold.

Settling again in North Vancouver, she served as a grassroots publicist for Canadian music groups, and produced and directed several music events. She travelled extensively. And over the years had two long-term relationships, which played a very important part in her life.

After her experience with the spiritual master at the bus stop in 1983, which she interpreted as a "calling," M.J.’s life changed direction. She began an intense spiritual journey. Instead of searching for answers in the experiences of others, she began looking inward to find the answers within herself. She sought to understand the profound occurrences that had transformed her life, their usefulness to her, and to listen to the voice of Soul.

Returning after 25 years to her parents’ home to take care of her ailing father, M.J. rediscovered her handwritten novel tucked safely away in a wooden chest. “It was strangely prophetic and relevant to today’s world,” she says. “So much of what is written in the book has come true; and more, I feel, is yet to happen.”

Feeling the book contained an important message, one she wanted to share with others, she rewrote it and published it as an e-book entitled Universal Tides: Barbed Wire Blues. It found an instant audience. “Little did I know that the theme of UTides - the fall of Man and the rise of the Spirit - could actually happen, depending on our choices! Included in the book are 12 Golden Keys. While helping the characters in the book, the 12 Golden Keys also helped many readers gain inner insights. They began using the keys to ask Soul all of life’s most intriguing questions - and getting answers!”

The idea for the 12 Golden Keys came through as she was rewriting Universal Tides and, together with her own life-altering experiences, became the inspiration for M.J.’s startling non-fiction book 12 Golden Keys for a New World: Unlocking the Door to Conscious Freedom - Change Your Life, Change Your Planet.

With the book written, M.J., with true entrepreneurial spirit, decided not to go the traditional publishing route, that of finding an agent and publisher and perhaps waiting up to five years for the book to be published. Or, if she couldn’t find a publisher, risk the book not being published at all. Using her own literary and artistic ability, she launched her own publishing company, Blue Heron Productions, with the added responsibility of self-marketing and promoting her book.

"Two years to write it, one year to publish it," M.J. smiles, "and 20 years to live it!" With a wink, she says, "And I loved every moment. If you don't love what you do, you're not meant to do it! When you discover your passion, you have a reason to live."

For more information about M.J.’s books, visit or


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